This is an extremely interesting discussion. It is important to realize that ultimately we are discussing perceived acceleration, how it feels, what feels zippy. Absolute maximum acceleration of each wheel might be academically interesting topic but in reality that is not how we ride. What we experience is the effort it takes to gain speed. I think It’s probably some combination of power, wheel diameter, pedal softness/hardness and firmware algorithms.
Here are my observations:
1. My 800W V8 feels zippier than my 2000W 18XL. This will always be true even though the 18XL might be able to accelerate faster in absolute terms if taken to the very edge (just before face planting). It is true even if they actually did accelerate just as fast when measured in lab conditions. The bigger wheel will require more leaning and that feels like a bigger rider input.
2. My gut feeling is that I could reach first 5 meters or 10 km/h quicker with my V8 but 100 meters or 30 km/h speed quicker with the 18XL. Simply because I would be more confident leaning heavily on the 18XL. And I would still think the slower to 30 km/h V8 would feel zippier and less effort.
3. You can only test different wheels side by side using robots or lab conditions. I can now accelerate faster with my 18XL than I could when I first got it. I can also now ride up hills that I could not ride when it was new to me. If you just jump on a new wheel it will feel different and sluggish because your brain is not yet tuned in. Just changing the riding mode to hard, medium or soft will feel wrong initially and takes about 50-100 km to get used to.
4. Wheel diameter seems to be the biggest factor but firmware is not insignificant. Inmotion updated V10F firmware to include a setting that felt zippier. Same happened to my 18XL with 1.13 firmware. It probably didn’t get quicker in absolute terms but definitely felt zippier and more responsive after that. If we could find out what exactly they did to the firmware that would help us understand this topic better.